Being a family caregiver for an elderly adult who is living with Alzheimer’s disease is difficult and presents a wide variety of challenges. These can be further illuminated by different situations, such as the holiday season. When you are going to be gathering with family members and friends who have not seen your parent in some time or who are not familiar with their challenges you may feel nervous about how they are going to respond or their ability to interact with your parent. Taking the time to discuss these changes with your family ahead of time can make these gatherings more meaningful and enjoyable for everyone involved.
Use these tips to discuss your parent’s Alzheimer’s disease with the family ahead of holiday gatherings:
- Be honest and upfront without disrespecting your parent’s privacy or dignity. Let the family know the details that are important and that will pertain to them, and do not try to “sugarcoat” them.
- Tell them about your parent’s home care provider and the benefits of this care provider. Give them an idea of your parent’s care routine and what is done to keep them as healthy as possible. Particularly if the care provider will be traveling with you, this information can help them to feel more confident and prepared for what they will experience.
- Reassure them that they are still important in your parent’s life and that they can play an important role by interacting with your loved one and supporting them throughout the holidays.
- Give suggestions for how they can spend meaningful time with your parent and how they can help your parent to engage with the holidays.
- Give suggestions for how they should react if your parent exhibits negative behaviors during the celebrations. Simply being prepared can ease discomfort and reassure your family that they will not do the “wrong thing.”
Starting home care for your aging parent can be one of the best decisions that you make for them. A home care services provider can be with your parent on a fully customized schedule that ensures that they have access to the care, support, assistance, and companionship that they need to maintain the highest quality of life possible as they age in place. This care provider will create a highly personalized set of services tailored specifically to your senior’s individual challenges, limitations, and needs. These services will meet these needs in ways that are right for your parent, while also encouraging a lifestyle that is as independent, engaged, and fulfilling as possible. As a family caregiver, this will give you confidence that your loved one is living the quality of life that they desire and deserve, and that they are getting everything that they need both when you are able to be with them and when you are not. This eases your stress and allows you to focus your time, energy, and effort on all aspects of your life in the most effective way.